Fashion Stylist To Russian Expert?

“Enter Carmel Lobello. During her years working in both LA and New York, Carmel has styled many people you’ve heard of, you like, maybe you hate and/or admire, she has worked as the Fashion Director for Death+Taxes Magazine” *Source

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The below commentary is in regards to this story from The Week.

The corporate media is lazy when it comes to Russia.  Expect to see it all when it comes to those chosen to write about the evils of Mother Russia.  An author that doubles as a camp counselor (Holdenried) is laughable.  Using a college intern, who probably can’t find Russia on a map, to spread Russophobia is brazen.  But turning a fashion stylist into a Russian expert overnight is new territory. 

Mind you, this is not a fluff piece.  This is not a warm feel good story about a lost kitten who finds its way home.  No.  This is a head on assault.  Allegations of innocent men being put away in prison.  Of a world leader intent on jailing those that he disagrees with.  All here.  All from a fashion stylist.

Carmel Lobello is new name when it comes to English language coverage of Russia.  There is a good reason for that.  See, Carmel Lobello is a fashion stylist who somehow has found herself writing for The Week as the business editor.  She has no Vk.com page (the number one Russian social networking site).  Her friends’ list on Facebook is void of actual Russians.  Instead it is the usual list of struggling hipsters you so often see from those who land in journalism these days.  We do know that she attended Emerson College in Vermont.  Looking through the possible courses she might have taken there I see not one that touches upon anything Russian.  There is also nothing about her past that makes one think she speaks Russian or has even spent a day in the country.  Hold on.  It gets even better.  A Google search finds that Lobello has written more articles dealing with sperm than with Russia.  She seems more interested in sperm donors and digesting semen than Russia.  Another article related to digesting semen if you dare.

Now, lets not stop there.  Lets just see what Lobello makes of Russia. Part of her story brings into question the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.  Russians, even those who do not support Putin, are stunned as to why Washington and London hold Khodorkovsky up as a martyr for a free and just Russia.  In Russian poll after Russian poll, Khodorkovsky can never crack the 10% mark (link credit goes to Anatoly Karlin) when it comes to percentage of Russians who view him as a political prisoner.  Don’t forget that Khodorkovsky’s bank (Bank Menatep) used state funds to purchase Yukos for the sum of $350 million.  Unusual when you take into account that market cap. was more like $9 billion.  More unusual, when you see that a much better bid by a rival bank was for some reason not allowed.  So, essentially, Mikhail Khodorkovsky robbed the Russian people in order to gain Yukos for himself.

Most discussion of Khodorkovsky ends here.  What many still do not realize is just how much danger he presented to Russia.  At the time of his arrest, Khodorkovsky was in the middle of a US-backed coup d’etat to capture the Russian presidency.  His was also in the process of selling 40% of Yukos to Chevron or Exxon Mobil.  By doing this he would have given away Russia’s most valuable export – Oil.  The winner would have been American oil companies.

Carmel Lobello also asserts that, “many innocent people are going to jail for white-collar crimes.”  Yet, she provides not one example!  Not a one!  These are serious allegations.  No links.  No names.  Nothing. 

How does an editor allow this story to get placed on a corporate site?  Is it possible that Carmel Lobello was told to write a negative Russian story?  Of course, we will never know.  What we do know is that real journalism died years ago in corporate America.

Note* Carmel Lobello is active on Twitter so I asked her if she knew Russian or had ever been to Russia.  She still hasn’t responded. 

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